Book these five awards before the US Airways Dividend Miles program disappears.

We know the program will end in early 2015, rolled into a new American Airlines loyalty program. I expect that combined program to be much worse than either the current American Airlines or US Airways program, which I love so much.

The two big reasons to love the US Airways program:

  1. US Airways has the cheapest award chart for roundtrip awards. Look at this comparison table between United, Delta, American, and US Airways’ award charts. US Airways is by far the most common airline to have the cheapest award.
  2. US Airways has by far the laxest enforcers of routing rules. US Airways is unique in that humans–and humans alone–verify what is allowed on award tickets. Most of those humans don’t exactly know what’s allowed, so as long as you stay under 10 segments roundtrip and use only one open jaw OR stopover, you can route fairly freely.

Right now The US Airways® Premier World MasterCard® comes with 40,000 bonus miles after first purchase.

The three reasons to get this card now are:

  1. Big sign up bonus.
  2. No minimum spending requirement in an age of $3,000, $5,000, and $10,000 spending requirements to unlock sign up bonuses.
  3. Your ability to get the 40,000 bonus miles will end when the card stops accepting new applications in early 2015. (If you get the card now, you can use them on the current US Airways award chart or on the future American Airlines award chart after the programs combine.)

What are the five best awards on the US Airways award chart?

All award prices are roundtrip prices since US Airways charges the roundtrip price on all awards.

1. Business Class to Southeast Asia with a Prior Free Oneway from Mexico for 90k Miles

This deal is incredible and has four simple, but exact, parts:

  1. A free oneway from Mexico/Central America/Caribbean to your home airport
  2. A stopover at your home airport for up to one year
  3. The main award: a roundtrip from your home airport to Asia (with no stopover and no open jaw)
  4. A continuation of the return to the original starting point in Mexico/Central America/Caribbean with less than a 24 hour layover at your home airport.

Read all about it here. And read an Anatomy of an Award post about booking such an award here.

2. 100k Miles between South America and Europe in Business

US Airways charges only 100k miles roundtrip between South America and Europe in business class. And you can route through North America or Africa in either direction.

I used this sweet spot to book my favorite award ever:

  • Buenos Aires to Johannesburg in South African business (stopover)
  • Johannesburg to Munich in South African business (destination)
  • Munich to Vienna to Chicago in Austrian business to Newark to Buenos Aires (destination)

I didn’t fly the crossed out portion, but it was necessary to book to comply with the award routing rules of US Airways.

Read all about this award booking here.

3. First Class from New York to SFO/LAX for 50k Miles

American Airlines has the nicest First Class on a domestic route with a fully flat bed on a new three-cabin plane between New York and the West Coast.

While American Airlines and British Airways charge 65,000 to 75,000 miles for the roundtrip, US Airways charges only 50,000 miles.

Read all about this award or getting into Cathay Pacific First Class for 50,000 miles roundtrip here.

4. First Class to Australia for 140k Miles

That’s roundtrip Qantas First Class, roundtrip Cathay Pacific First Class, both ways routing through Europe (possibly including British Airways First Class), or some combination of these options.

IMG_0031
Cathay Pacific First Class Throne

It’s an incredible deal I detailed here.

American Airlines charges 145k miles roundtrip in First Class to Australia, but only on direct flights. To route through Asia or Europe costs much more with American Airlines miles.

5. 120k Miles Roundtrip to North Asia in First Class

US Airways devalued the 90k mile roundtrip in business class to North Asia–currently 110k–but the First Class roundtrip remains only 120k.

You can route through Europe one or both ways and test out some of the world’s finest First Class on Cathay Pacific.

Check out this Anatomy of an Award with US Airways miles to North Asia.

Recap

The US Airways award program is my favorite award program, and it will completely disappear next year. Book its top value awards before then.

There is still plenty of time to earn and burn US Airways miles.

Right now The US Airways® Premier World MasterCard® comes with 40,000 bonus miles after first purchase.

You can often buy US Airways miles for 1.88 cents each including through the end of this month.

What are your last ditch US Airways awards?

————————————————————————————————————

Never miss a post again! Follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook. And sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts!

4 COMMENTS

  1. What do you think the risk is of sooner-rather-than-later changes to the USDM program? I know you can’t predict… but thoughts?

    The removal of Explorer Awards on AA caught me completely off guard and I missed out.

    Last thing I would want to happen is the elimination of the one stop over or open jaw allowed today on USDM, say in July, six months before we thought the programs would be combined.

    • Since AA cut stopovers, I could see US doing the same, but I think it’s unlikely. They could devalue one or two awards. If they did this, I could say domestic three-cabin First going to 65k. But I think we’ll see zero or few changes before the elimination of the program.

  2. I have not been able to find any availability on 1st Class Cathay JFK-HKG-JFK, even called them and still no luck. What am I missing?

    • No need to call. Just search ba.com and all of it will be shown. You must be looking at a time when there is no award space.

Leave a Reply